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South Carolina Honors College


Student organization brings TEDx talks to USC

TEDxUofSC a hit with the Columbia community

by Hannah Dear of The Daily Gamecock

USC's TEDx club began two years ago with a few students wanting to see students share and learn from each other’s creative ideas. Now, it has grown into its first TEDxUofSC event, which took place Oct. 3 at the My Carolina Alumni Center.

“It’s actually been going on for about a year and a half now, so this event has been a long time in the making,” said Sean Powers, a fourth-year supply chain and operations management student and part of the TEDx club executive team. “We’re excited to have been able to partner with the university to put this on, and we look forward into the future having more student involvement in the organization.”

Third-year undecided student Michael Senator was brought on to the project a year ago and now serves as the club’s president. After all this time, he is thrilled to see TEDxUofSC finally happening and looks forward to the future of the club.

“We’re really hoping the success of the TEDxUofSC ... will really help just spread awareness of the club and help motivate other people to actually join,” Senator said.

Another member of the executive board is Chirag Jain, a third-year finance, supply chain and operations management student who hopes students will get excited to learn more about what TEDx is and how they can get involved with bringing more TEDx events to campus.

“For me it’s a mixture of things,” Jain said. "One side is that I hope they listen to all the speakers and find something interesting that maybe they continue to research or maybe relates to what they’re interested in career-wise.”

The club’s first TEDxUofSC featured 12 speakers, one of whom was third-year sport and entertainment management student Lyric Swinton. The TEDx Club promotes student involvement behind the scenes and on the stage.

“I’m excited for the possibilities it'll bring to USC’s campus to create a better community here,” Powers said. “It’ll be a platform for the university to showcase its best and brightest and, again, really looking forward to greater student involvement moving forward.”

Students and community members attended TEDxUofSC. Senator, Powers, Jain and the rest of the club are looking forward to planning for their next event after evaluating what went well.

“I think the biggest thing is looking at how the whole event went and sitting down and seeing where were there areas where students could be involved in ... and also how can students contribute to a greater event next year,” Jain said. “How can we make it a better event, a bigger event and very student-focused?”

The executive board hopes students will grow and be inspired to pursue creative problem solving in their own lives.

“I’m really excited to see TEDxUofSC,” Powers said. “Not even just this one but ones moving into the future, becoming a catalyst for students to find a passion for learning, to find the things that they’re passionate about and want to explore further so that they find a way to make a positive impact on the world.”